“Extra” host and journalist Maria Menounos will serve as the 2014 CES Entertainment Matters Ambassador for next year’s International CES, taking place Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas.
The Consumer Electronics Association made the announcement at a kickoff event Monday in Los Angeles that featured a presentation on entertainment content in the digital age and a panel discussion on online video with executives from Zefr, AwesomenessTV and writer-producer Issa Rae.
Sponsored by Variety and associated sponsored by SAG-AFTRA, Entertainment Matters is developed for Hollywood’s television, film and digital industries as part of the annual technology event. As ambassador, Menounos will focus on bridging the gap between entertainment and technology industries and bringing together key people from both fields.
“Menounos is a tech innovator in the entertainment industry, and her work embodies what the Entertainment Matters program is all about,” said Karen Chupka, senior vice president, events and conferences, CEA. “Her successes through television, film and the internet are a true testament to the importance of merging content and technology to create the next-generation of entertainment.”
Along with hosting “Extra,” Menounos hosts a digital talk show titled “Conversations with Maria Menounos” and is the founder and CEO of online broadcast network AfterBuzz TV Network.
The CES Entertainment Matters program will feature exhibits, keynotes, panels and events, including the 2014 IAWTV Awards Gala and Variety’s Entertainment Summit. CES is also partnering with Penske Media Corporation to present PMC’s Breakthrough of the Year Awards, recognizing achievements in media, entertainment and technology, to be held Jan. 9.
Andrew Wallenstein, editor-in-chief, digital, at Variety moderated a panel featuring Margaret Haney, CMO of Awesomeness TV, Jason Kirk, head of business development at Zefr and Rae, creator of web series “Awkward Black Girl.”
CEA research director Shawn DuBravac was also on hand at the event to give an overview on trends in digital consumption, particularly fragmentation on all fronts. “The consumer is quite fickle, willing to toggle across content, services and devices than stick with any one setting,” he said.